Prince William County Emergency Medical Services staff began receiving the Moderna vaccine today, according to Prince William Health District Director Dr. Alison Ansher.
Prince William County received 1,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week, and the county’s EMS personnel will be the first county employees to receive the vaccine, Ansher said in an email Monday morning.
Prince William County Assistant Chief Fire Chief Matt Smolsky said Monday that some Prince William County Fire and Rescue System began receiving vaccinations this morning, including "volunteer and career members who have served or are serving in an operational role in the last 90 days."
The Virginia Department of Health placed an order for about 140,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago, much of which has already started to be distributed throughout the commonwealth.
Sentara Healthcare system, which includes Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center in Woodbridge, received 11,700 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 14.
Virginia is planning for a weekly allocation of 100,000 doses of vaccine – about 50,000 doses of each type of vaccine – for the next few weeks, according to a Dec. 22 Virginia Department of Health press release. But the actual amount of vaccine received in Virginia is a moving target and is dependent on when and how quickly vaccination doses are manufactured, the statement said.
“Vaccines are our way out of this pandemic,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver in a press release. “... We are working hard to get vaccines to people as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please continue to wear a face mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently.”
Vaccinations have been prioritized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health to first go to healthcare workers and residents and staff of long-term care facilities, but will be expanded as supplies and resources to administer the vaccine increase, the press release said.
The CDC is recommending that frontline essential workers receive the vaccine next, such as firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, United States Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector such as teachers, support staff and daycare workers, as well as anyone age 75 years or older.
After that, the CDC is recommending that people between 65 to 74 years old, people aged 16 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions and other essential workers, such as transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety and public health workers be vaccinated.
The Virginia Department of Health is continuing to urge people to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including continued wearing of cloth face-coverings or masks, remaining at least 6 feet away from others, washing hands well and often and avoiding gatherings with those who live outside your household.